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By: Thomas Hoerner

Co-ParentingSo what can a father do when there is so much anger and hate that neither parent can get along? Try sending this letter to your ex-wife. Assuming that both parents are adults who love their children enough to do what is right for them, this letter is a peace treaty in the form of a contract and is designed to provide the first step toward a peaceful relationship between hostile parents. Good luck!


Today I realized that our child(ren) is/are more important than we are, and it is time to co-exist on their behalf. With the forwarding of this letter, I offer peace and ask that we set aside our ill feelings and be civil to each other. I know there is anger and hate from past conflicts that may not heal for a long time, but if we do nothing to overcome these feelings, our children will suffer.

I'm not asking for forgiveness, nor am I giving any. I am not taking or giving blame. I am simply asking that we wipe the slate clean and try to make tomorrow better--for the children! Perhaps, in time we can work out our differences, but in the meantime, we must not let them interfere with our being good parents.

You have my word. As of tomorrow my actions will reflect my love for my children, not my hostility for you. I will work at improving our relationship and keeping the children first and foremost in my life. I will make every effort to follow the rules of successful co-parenting and ask you to do the same.

They are as follows:

  • I will not blame you for a failed relationship or any other problem I/we have had.
  • I will not argue and fight with you in front of the children.
  • I will not speak badly of you to the children.
  • I will not use you as a sitter.
  • I will not discuss court disputes or adult problems with the children.
  • I will not limit telephone access between you and the children.
  • I will not use the children as spies.
  • I will not send messages through the children.
  • I will not make plans or arrangements directly with the children.
  • I will not send money through the children.
  • I will try to be on time and will call if I am late.
  • I will send/return the children clean, fed, rested, and with clean clothes.
  • I will be courteous and use words such as "thank you" and "please."
  • I will communicate about the children's actions, developmental stages, adjustment, and well being.
  • I will try to agree on basic rules such as bedtime, TV, diet, discipline, etc.
  • If I slip and make a mistake, I will try again tomorrow.

I Promise______________________  Date___________

The above is from The Ultimate Survival Guide for the Single Father, by Thomas Hoerner. Copyright (c) 2001 Harbinger Press. Reprinted with permission, all rights reserved.

My child's mother brought my daughter to me and literally disappeared for approximately 3 whole years! Attempts to contact the mother by emails, phone calls, text messages, social media, family and friends yielded nothing. I then contacted Fathers For Equal Rights for help. Within a week we were in court and signing papers.
  -- Sefu A. - Dallas, TX

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